Essex High School Theater

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EHS hosts The Vermont State Drama Festival, April 5 & 6 (Showtimes listed)

Essex High School is proud to host the 2019 Vermont State Drama Festival, which celebrates and showcases the 10 of the top high school one-acts in Vermont. Around 300 students and adults will participate.

The festival spans 2 days, Friday & Saturday, April 5 & 6. All shows are open to the public, and audiences are encouraged to attend. Don't miss out on seeing the best theatrical work from drama departments across the state! 

$5 per show or $30 for all 10 shows. Cash or checks accepted.


4:45 — Lyndon Institute, Thespis 

7:15 — Hazen Union High School, Blithe Spirit 
8:15 — Thetford Academy, Who Am I This Time? 

9:30 — Rutland High School, Curse You, Jack Dalton!


9:00 — Spaulding High School, Cage Birds

10:00 — Milton Senior High School, Moby Dick

3:00 — Otter Valley Union School, The Last Firefly

4:00 — Lamoille Union High School, Validation

6:45 — Essex High School, Frankenstein

7:45 — St. Johnsbury Academy, Just So Stories

Synopses below: 

Lyndon Institute: Thespis, Comedy

In the golden age of Athens, all is not golden. The Festival of Dionysus has become a showcase for boring, repetitive, mindless chanting. Enter Thepsis, a baker who dares to do what no man has done before - think for himself - and propose that something different might actually be entertaining.

Hazen Union: Scenes from Blithe Spirit, Dramatic Comedy

An incompetent psychic accidentally summons a novelist's late first wife much to the chagrin of his current wife.

Thetford Academy: Who Am I This Time?, Lighthearted Drama (based on the Kurt Vonnegut story)

Harry Nash has a real-life personality as blah as the leaf rakes in the hardware store where he works, but when he is handed a script, he becomes the role he plays, and he lives the role until the curtain falls. An actress falls in love with him, but it’s with the Harry who is ‘in character.’

Rutland: Curse You, Jack Dalton!, Melodramatic Comedy

In true melodramatic style, there are villains, a dashing hero and a beautiful maiden in distress. Anna wants Jack for his money and will remove anyone in her way. Egbert Van Horn needs money and he will help Anna. Jack loves Bertha and will do anything to save her. Will good triumph over evil? Join in cheering the hero and booing the villains. 

Spaulding: The Cagebirds, Allegorical Drama
In this extraordinary play, a "room" and a "cage" and "people" and "captive birds" all become confused until a dramatic climax in which we suddenly see reality. Six women live in a locked room, each absorbed in her own petty interest and in placating the "Mistress" who takes care of them. Then a "Wild One" is thrust in among them. She talks of breaking out of the room to find freedom. She troubles the others who remain secure in their cage, and they all join against her in the shattering conclusion to this unforgettable play that offers eight actresses an unusual opportunity.

Milton: Moby Dick, Drama

Moby Dick is an original play adapted from the novel by Herman Melville about one sailor’s account of a whaling ships captain’s obsession to hunt Moby Dick, a white whale, who tore off the captains leg. Told in a storytelling format, the show uses minimal set to convey this nautical world of whaling and revenge.

Otter Valley: The Last Firefly, Theater for Young Audiences

It begins with light and a flash. Then comes a sound, a pulse, a beat, a crash like a giant hammer smashing through the sky. The fantastic story of Boom, the son of Thunder, is a mythical adventure about discovering one's inner strength. After being forced out of his home at the hand of his cruel stepfather, Boom sets out on a journey of self-discovery where he must courageously battle forces of nature. Along the way, he encounters conflict with the animals of an enchanted forest who will either help or hinder him in his quest. This epic tale combines Japanese fairy tales and folklore to create an exciting theatrical experience for young people. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Lamoille: Validation, Drama

Liza's family is getting boring -- and unless ratings improve, the network is going to pull the plug on their non-stop reality TV show. Living in a futuristic world of relentless exposure, Liza struggles to convince her family that life is meaningless unless it is validated by the camera. When she films her fiance against his wishes, the results are dark and disastrous. Validation questions our society's obsession with voyeurism and celebrity, as they threaten to consume everyday reality.

Essex: Frankenstein, Horror

Frankenstein gets reanimated and reimagined in this ensemble-driven version of the classic horror story. This production's visually stunning exploration of science, creation, isolation, and ego will be a thrilling and visceral experience in storytelling. **Frankenstein contains mature content. We are recommending audience members to be aged 13 and up.

St. Johnsbury Academy: Just So Stories, Comedy

Five of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, including How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin and How the Elephant Got His Trunk are included here. The tales are brought vividly to life by Kipling's young daughter, Elsie, and a group of new friends she has made during a visit with her aunt while her parents are away. Elsie receives in the mail from her father a recently published copy of his new book, a series of animal adventures. She and her friends eagerly act out the stories until they come to the final one which, to the surprise of her friends, Elsie is reluctant to enact. 


Frankenstein arrives March 14 & 15!

Frankenstein gets reanimated and reimagined in this ensemble-driven version of the classic horror story.

* Frankenstein contains mature content. We are recommending audience members to be aged 13 and up.  

Tickets sold at the door or at lunchtime the week of the show.

Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15 at 7 PM. 

$5 Student/Senior  $10 General Admission.

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Willy Wonka Jr. Information Meeting Feb 19!

This May, the EHS Theatre Department will be presenting “Willy Wonka Jr.,” a musical directed by students, for students!

There will be an informational meeting on February 19th in the Black Box, 1:45-2:15 where you will get a chance to meet the creative team, learn about the project and ask any burning questions you have about the audition, the rehearsal process, tech, shows, ANYTHING!

Workshops will be held on March 18th and 19th,

Auditions will be held on March 20th

Rehearsals will begin March 22nd

As a tradition, the student directed musical is a production directed by upperclassmen with a cast of freshman and sophomore students.

This is a no-cut production, meaning if you audition, YOU’RE IN!

All of us here on the Wonka Creative Team have participated in a past student-directed production, and can speak to the importance of working alongside peers in such a close manner. The safe and ever-strengthening learning environment makes for a wonderful community and a crazy fun production!

Please consider auditioning, joining tech or coming out to support the show!

If you have any questions, please email

Director Evey Duval:

Production Manager Ryan Poulin:

Stage Manager: Matthew Tupaj:

Big Fish opens in one (tiny) week!

The fall musical, Big Fish, is next week! And, we can feel it!

Essex High School’s annual Fall Musical returns November 15 - November 18th with “Big Fish”, 2013’s broadway hit based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton.

After 2018’s tremendous production of the weighty “Les Misérables”, EHS Theater has opted for another larger-than-life production but this one is full of whimsy and suspended belief.  “Big Fish” tells the tale of Edward Bloom, a man who leads an extraordinary life—according to the stories he tells his son, Will. But Will, now getting married and expecting a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Along the way, we meet witches, mermaids, giants and a whole circus of characters in this 2h 15m family-friendly production.

Featuring a cast of 42 talented student actors, and a crew of 25, this show will take audiences on a magical journey from fiction to fact and back again, exploring themes of family, life, death and forgiveness.  

Thurs, Nov 15 //  7pm

Fri, Nov 16 // 7pm

Sat, Nov 17 // 7pm

Sun, Nov 18 // 2pm

Tickets sold three ways:

In Person - at lunches, starting Nov 8 until Nov 16 OR at the door the night of the show.

Online (transaction fee of $1.17 per ticket) at

Questions? Email Drama Director, Aly Perry:

“Hey, Ed, have you bought tickets yet?”

“Hey, Ed, have you bought tickets yet?”

Essex High Theater Finds Extraordinary In Ordinary

Essex High School theater director Aly Perry faced an enviable task when selecting a show to tackle for this year’s Vermont One Act Festival: Her last two shows had been, by all accounts, rousing hits.


Last year’s festival entry, “The Boy at the Edge of Everything,” earned the Essex group a state championship title. This fall, “Les Miserables” effectively brought an epic musical to the small stage.

“I needed something that was going to be sort of uplifting and wacky that would sweep out the beautiful ashes of ‘Les Mis,’” Perry said. “It’s really challenging to follow ‘Les Mis’ with anything.”

Enter: “Three Kinds of Wildness” by Donna Oblongata.

This show is certainly “less linear” than the prior productions, Perry confirmed. In fact, it’s a bit hard even to grasp a plotline within the comedic, social commentary of a show.

...“Both shows are very much Aly Perry shows in the way that they’re styled,” student Ingrid Zinger joked. “It is a brand with patent pending.”...

Read more from the Essex Reporter...

Wildness is on the rise!

Our one act, Three Kinds of Wildness is revving up! Wonderful costumes, stellar physical comedy, music, and real heart. Come enjoy on two Fridays - March 16 and 23! Tickets sold at the door.

3 kinds poster final.jpg

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Essex High School theater students staged their first dress rehearsal of the epic French musical “Les Miserables” on Monday afternoon. The two-and-a-half hour show is entirely sung through and boasts a demanding vocal score. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)

Dozens of students bustled through the Essex High School auditorium with purpose on Monday, strapping on costumes and breaking into vocal warm-up drills as they straightened hairpieces and located new props before beginning their first dress rehearsal.

Including cast, crew and orchestra pit members, the production has a whopping 76 participants — more than any sport in the district, director Aly Perry noted.

Read more from the Essex Reporter...

essex report les mis.jpg

The New England Festival blew our minds


Thank you to the Essex Rotary and all the community members who helped support our trip to Norwood, MA. We showcased with the top 12 schools from 6 states. There were 3 standing ovations at the festival. We were one of them. The amount of heart that the students brought to this production was palpable to every audience member who witnessed it. 


EHS Theater heads to New England Competition

For the first time in Essex High School history, a group of theater students are headed to the New England Drama Festival.

The group of about 25 students, led by first-year EHS theater director Aly Perry, won a state title for their one-act play, a rendition of “The Boy at the Edge of Everything.”

“Really, there’s no way to win in a subjective art form,” Perry said. “But what we can do is we can help an audience dream; we can invent a world that they believe in.”

Read more from The Essex Reporter...

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